A new web-based city/empire builder from Electronic Arts, named Lord of Ultima, has gone live. With a very professional interface that wouldn’t be out of place in a single player retail title, the game provides the same sort of playing experience as the likes of Travian.
As with all these games, it becomes apparent that in isolation you have no chance of progressing at the grander scale unless you are involved with some larger collaboration between players. In fact in my experience, you just start getting the hang of your managerial role when the large scale farmers descend upon you and start harvesting your resources for their conglomerates needs.
This happened to me in Travian to the point where I couldn’t progress at all, I was merely a host for the parasitic group of players that were feeding off me. The game became dull very quickly after that. Even after some attempts to placate the parasite union with offers of allegiance and help, as well as looking for a rival group to join to add weight to my defense. Neither approaches were successful. If you were in with the in crowd then you were a part of something big, and if you weren’t you were to be leeched from for all eternity. Here’s hoping EA has some game design skills employed to make the experience entertaining for the little guy… but I doubt it.